Exporting insight: Konya-Karaman Region

Mon, January 19th, 2015

Mevlana Development Agency outlines Konya-Karaman’s exporting potential.


Konya-Karaman region is one of the oldest settlements in the world, with its history dating back to 8000 B.C. The region had hosted Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Romans, Byzantines, Sultanate of Rum and Karamanid Dynasty.

Konya-Karaman had been capital cities of Sultanate of Rum and Karamanids respectively. Karaman is the first city where Turkish Language is legally publicized and Turkish Language Festival is organized every year in Karaman which gathers thousands of people from all over the world. Konya, the city in which Rumi spent most of his life, is the cradle of the Sufist Mevlevi Culture.

Due to this heritage, Konya and Karaman provinces have many locations which have important history and cultural.

Binbirkilise (The Thousand and One Churches) is located at the north of Karaman which is a very important place for Christianity as St Paul had visited two times in his journeys. The region hosts Titular Sees like Casae in Pamphylia, Derbe, Cybistra and Lystra which reflects its historical Christian background. Similarly, Konya also hosts Hagia Elena Church, built in the year 327 in the name of Constantine the Great’s mother Helena.

60 kms to the south of Konya city centre lies Çatalhöyük, a 10.000-year-old settlement which is the best preserved Neolithic site in the world, the first known city. The first apartment complex of the world in Karaman’s Taskale town, extraordinary caves, mosques, castles, dams, and lakes, wonderful natural locations as the Mauseleum of Rumi, Esrefoglu Mosque, Taskopru Falls, Godet Canyon and Ermenek Dam are among the wonders of the region.

The region is at the point where the Central Anatolian steps meet the rugged slopes of the Taurus Mountains, a transit pass connecting Central Anatolia to the Mediterranean. The location of the region is convenient as major tourism centres such as Cappadocia and Antalya can be reached in a couple of hours. Also Eskisehir, Adana, Ankara and Mersin, all of them important manufacturing bases, are 3 hours away by highways.

Konya enjoys high speed rail connection to Ankara, Eskisehir and Istanbul. Karaman is set to join the high-speed rail network which is to be completed in 2015. It will take 4 and 5 hours to reach Istanbul from Konya and Karaman respectively using the high speed train. Konya also enjoys connection to Istanbul and Izmir with its airport, carrying nearly 1 million people annually. To carry Turkish expatriate workers to their hometowns in the holiday season, the airport is also connected to major European cities in the summer months.

The region flourished in the last decade economically. The increase of export value  is 10.5 times more for Konya and 8 times for Karaman, compared to 2002. Konya-Karaman is the leading region of Turkey in terms of solar radiation values and hours of sunshine. It has the maximum radiation and sunshine duration in Turkey. The only "Organised Industrial Zone Specialised in Energy" is in Karapinar, Konya. The region, mostly covered by wide plains with little or zero slope, is in a suitable location for investments in respect to solar energy. As an area with rapidly growing energy demand, Konya-Karaman region also has a great potential in terms of hydro electric, solar, wind and biomass energy.

Konya and Karaman provinces are two of the most important agricultural bases in Turkey. The region leads the country in the production of agricultural goods such as apple, sugar beet, corn, bean, wheat, barley, sunflower seed, egg, milk, red meat, and chickpeas.Karaman is the 2nd province in Turkiye in terms of the apple production.

Industry in Karaman with its fertile soils has developed mostly based on agriculture and food sectors. Karaman occupies a significant position in manufacturing-food industry subgroup especially on biscuit, chocolate, cake and bulgur industries. Around one third of confectionery production, two third of biscuits production and 20% of bulgur (cracked wheat) production in Turkey are realized by Karaman, which Karaman is at the 1st position in the country. There are companies engaged especially in food, machine, packaging and paper, mine and soil and cold storage sectors in Karaman Industrial Zone.

Konya on the other hand is the 7th largest industrial production base in Turkey on the provincial basis. The city, while specialising in many sectors such as machine production, metal processing and casting, shoemaking, foodstuff production, PVC production and Vehicle Mounted Equipment, continues to expand its sectoral base and having new investments in chemistry, plastics and packaging industries.

Konya and Karaman both host the companies related with the United Kingdom. As emphasized earlier, Karaman is the largest confectionery manufacturing city in Turkiye even hosts the Turkiye's largest food group Yildiz Holding who has bought UK-based cookies and snacks maker United Biscuits. And Konya has some UK investments; Unilever has opened an ice-cream factory in Konya and announced an investment of over €150 million in a new manufacturing plant in Konya to produce cleaning chemicals.

The new Incentive system in Turkey is prepared according to the socioeconomic development level of the provinces. Turkey is separated into six regions based on the development level of the cities at these regions. Konya belongs to the 2nd , and Karaman belongs to the 3rd region in where the investor can get the advantages such as customs duty exemption, VAT exemption, corporate tax reduction, Social security premium contribution, land allocation and Interest support on the financing. The details of the incentive system are here

One of the advantages for the investment in the region is the location of the cities. Geologically Konya and Karaman are in the 4-5th degree earthquake zone which level has the least risk in terms of the earthquake. With its history, secure location, agro-industry, young population, urban life and culture, transportation network, and advantageous position in new incentive system, Konya-Karaman is a rapid growing region sharing its prosperity with investors while it grows. We kindly welcome to the investors. Click here to learn more about investing in Konya and Karaman.

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